By Tam Davis

Trying times bring out the best in people imbued with community spirit.

When corona virus began to upend our lives several weeks ago, a Knowlton resident wanted to bring joy to people and light into their sometimes trying lives. She knew giving flowers would make a difference. “Tulips are my favourite spring flowers: a promise of sun and kinder weather.

I love long-stemmed, buttery yellow, pink and white, and cherry red varieties, with long lasting blooms. Perfect for cheering people up with style and sunshine,” she explained.

For several weeks she has driven all over Brome County and environs, on rutted roads, in pouring rain or glorious sun, anonymously delivering beautiful tulips to people she knew or had heard needed a boost. A few examples: friends grieving the recent loss of a faithful dog; people recovering from major surgery or in isolation awaiting surgery; elderly men living alone; elderly people living in the Coldbrook complex in Knowlton; and people ill or receiving palliative care at the Maison Diapason hospice in Bromont.

Our “tulip lady” did not seek recognition or reward. She sought anonymity. There was no advertising, no self-promotion; no calling ahead of a delivery. Her preferred method was stealth:

“Ring the bell, leave a bouquet and run”. The card accompanying the bouquet was a cheery short note sure to bring smiles and joy. Its handwritten message was simple: “May this bring sunshine into your day” or “Have a good day!”, without disclosing the donor’s name or address.

When I asked the anonymous tulip lady to sum up what she learned from this experience, she said: “You can draw inspiration from desperate times.You can use your energy and imagination to turn your despair into something positive.”

That is not surprising. It is obvious that, for Audrey, flowers celebrate light and life, and giving is an act of caring and sharing vital energy. Indeed her website describes Bromewood as “a unique environment where clients become friends”, where “those that give are excited to send”, and “those that receive experience pure joy”.

Good deeds do trump despair in trying times.